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Gender and Power in the Third Reich

Female Denouncers and the Gestapo (1933-45)

Gender and Power in the Third Reich by Vandana Joshi
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In the last decade a considerable amount of work has been done to demystify the Gestapo, which far from being omniscient, depended heavily on unsolicited denunciations of 'deviants and dissenters'. A substantial number of these denunciations were sent in by ordinary women. So far no-one has thought to ask why.

This is the first book to attempt to provide such an answer. It explores those spaces within the patriarchal, sexist and racist power structures of the regime that women appropriated, by articulating and resolving their personal conflicts through denunciations. It questions the victim-vs-perpetrator paradigm within which studies on denunciation have hitherto been cast, and instead argues for a more nuanced, differentiated approach. It also places structures of male sexual aggression alongside those of female aggression towards 'community aliens'.

The intensive and unique treatment of individual cases from Gestapo files in Gender and Power in the Third Reich makes visible, for the first time, how female denouncers responded to the Nazi state and their deeply politicised surroundings.
Palgrave Macmillan; July 2003
250 pages; ISBN 9780230511071
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Title: Gender and Power in the Third Reich
Author: Vandana Joshi